thumbnail of Life & Times Special Edition; No. 168; Young L.A.: Rage & Responsibility
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<v Ruben Martinez>I'm Ruben Martinez and this is a special one hour edition of Life and Times. <v Ruben Martinez>We've gathered together youth from all over Los Angeles to discuss issues of violence, <v Ruben Martinez>race, class, justice and the future. <v Ruben Martinez>Young L.A.: Rage and Responsibility, a one hour special, next on Life and <v Ruben Martinez>Times [playful music]. <v Narrator>This program is supported by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, which is dedicated <v Narrator>to the development of an informed California citizenry. <v Narrator>Special support for this program is provided by: the Los Angeles <v Narrator>County Department of Health Services, and <v Narrator>the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
<v Patt Morrison>Tonight, some 20 young adults from across L.A. <v Patt Morrison>have joined us in the studio. While these are not the people you saw looting and rioting <v Patt Morrison>in the last few weeks, nonetheless, their families, their neighborhoods and their lives <v Patt Morrison>have been altered by the events of the last few weeks, and perhaps more than the rest of <v Patt Morrison>us, their futures are going to be dramatically changed by what has gone on. <v Hugh Hewitt>They are age 16 to 20, and we're going to ask to talk with them about the next <v Hugh Hewitt>generation, not only of the possible leadership of the city and the region, but of the <v Hugh Hewitt>possible business communities and the opportunities and the tensions that they are <v Hugh Hewitt>looking forward to or perhaps running away from over the next 10 years. <v Ruben Martinez>We're going to be asking some of the hard questions tonight also about race, and class, <v Ruben Martinez>and how cultural attitudes have informed the violence, and how also we can come together. <v Ruben Martinez>First, we're gonna take a look at a couple of the images that have defined the last year <v Ruben Martinez>in Los Angeles. Let's roll that tape now. <v Ruben Martinez>March 3rd, 1991, Rodney King, a little over a year later, <v Ruben Martinez>it's Reginald Denny at the corner of Florence and Normandie, and then
<v Ruben Martinez>the entire city seems to go up in flames. <v Ruben Martinez>Nobody's sure how far it's going to go [responder talking on radio]. <v Ruben Martinez>We're here talking with Hector Salazar. Hector, I want to ask you a direct question. <v Ruben Martinez>Those two images of violence, Rodney King on the one hand, Reginald Denny on the other, <v Ruben Martinez>was there any way that you would see a situation in which that kind of violence against <v Ruben Martinez>one or the other could possibly be justified? <v Hector Salazar>No, I couldn't see any justification for either action. <v Hector Salazar>I don't see uh a justification for Daryl Gates' actions either. <v Hector Salazar>I don't see the justification for a double standard to be applied to <v Hector Salazar>those of us who are not white and poor as opposed to those <v Hector Salazar>of us who are white and wear badges. <v Hector Salazar>I don't see a justification for a double standard either. <v Ruben Martinez>But some people have been talking about justifying both- in both cases. <v Ruben Martinez>The jury in Simi Valley seemed to say that it was all right for Rodney King to be beaten
<v Ruben Martinez>the way he was, and some people have been saying that the- the truck driver also had <v Ruben Martinez>said some things to inflame certain people and that maybe that beating was also <v Ruben Martinez>justified. Does anybody disagree with that? <v Hedyeh Melamed>No one deserves to be beaten the way Rodney King was beaten. <v Hedyeh Melamed>I feel that if our judicial system states or in some law, <v Hedyeh Melamed>it does not prove that these police officers were guilty, then obviously there's <v Hedyeh Melamed>something wrong with our judicial system, and that's where we need to solve the problems. <v Hedyeh Melamed>Because if those jurors say that, I mean, they say that it's under the law, or under <v Hedyeh Melamed>specific laws, that these police officers were not found guilty, and what they did was <v Hedyeh Melamed>basically, quote unquote all right. And obviously, then there's something wrong with our <v Hedyeh Melamed>law system, and that's where we need to change, and I think that's where the change must <v Hedyeh Melamed>begin. <v Ruben Martinez>What about some of the images that we've all seen on TV and some of our own neighborhoods <v Ruben Martinez>as well? The iss- the images of racial violence, really, right? <v Ruben Martinez>I mean, blacks and Koreans, blacks and Latinos, whites and blacks, it seems to be going- <v Ruben Martinez>leaping across from one group to another. <v Ruben Martinez>Sometimes it appeared that communities were coming together, but a lot of times we were
<v Ruben Martinez>at loggerheads. Why was that happening? Why the divisions in Los Angeles? <v Ruben Martinez>Tristen Sotomayor, where are you from? <v Tristen Sotomayor>From Cerritos. I think that um as a whole, my- at least my <v Tristen Sotomayor>generation, people my age, um are scared <v Tristen Sotomayor>of things that are different, people who are different. <v Tristen Sotomayor>They don't want to learn about new cultures. <v Tristen Sotomayor>I think that is a big stumbling block. Also, unfortunately, when you have a president, in <v Tristen Sotomayor>my opinion, who plays- who is opportunistic with race, such as a Willie <v Tristen Sotomayor>Horton ad in 1988, and then comes back last week and preaches race relations <v Tristen Sotomayor>on television, I don't think the American people are that gullible. <v Tristen Sotomayor>I think they can see through that. And I think that also creates some of the bad feelings <v Tristen Sotomayor>towards races that may not be true. <v Ruben Martinez>Have some people here- Sarah Chee, where are you from? <v Sarah Chee>I'm from um UCLA. Um let's talk about the- the images that we just saw. <v Sarah Chee>Let's talk about being beaten, maybe not physically, but let's say mentally. <v Sarah Chee>Let's- let's talk about all the people of color who have been beaten for hundreds and <v Sarah Chee>hundreds of years in this country that it has, it seems, to condone racial
<v Sarah Chee>and racial prejudice just by the system, the whole system and the media that-that just <v Sarah Chee>thrives on race- racism and like violence in the community. <v Sarah Chee>Let's talk about the system. Let's talk about being beaten. <v Ruben Martinez>Have we had here people who have felt racial discrimination, particularly themselves <v Ruben Martinez>in person? <v Rodney Prince>Well, no, not exactly. But I was going to go back to the beating. <v Rodney Prince>Um as a result, from a humanistic standpoint, the suffering of any human being can't be <v Rodney Prince>justified, especially when afflicted from the hands of another. <v Rodney Prince>But in the cases of any type of civil uprising, there are going to be casualties, and <v Rodney Prince>that's in a sense, that's how I look at what happened to Reginald Denny. <v Rodney Prince>And it's hard for me to feel any sympathy for him under that line of thinking, but in- <v Rodney Prince>from saying that he couldn't- he couldn't- he couldn't defend <v Rodney Prince>himself, but yet and still he was in a perspective where he couldn't do much about it. <v Ruben Martinez>Mhm. Michael Thomas, where are you from? <v Michael Thomas>Um I'm from Los Angeles. Um I want to real-relate what somebody said about racism between <v Michael Thomas>the different ethnic groups. Um you have here in our society, where you
<v Michael Thomas>see there's hostility between each racial group and when the government doesn't step in <v Michael Thomas>and intervene and give that healing that's needed at that time, <v Michael Thomas>you have what you saw a couple of weeks ago. <v Michael Thomas>You have the beatings, you have the discrimination. <v Michael Thomas>You have the looting of the different buildings. You have the burning down of different <v Michael Thomas>businesses because of the built tension that's within different people. <v Michael Thomas>You have the- the Hispanics, you have blacks, you have the whites that are out there <v Michael Thomas>doing these things. And it's- it's over years of all this stuff building up. <v Michael Thomas>You just can't say it's because of this, it's because of that. <v Michael Thomas>But somebody has to take the blame for it. <v Michael Thomas>And we all have to take the blame for it. It's just not- it's not a black person's fault, <v Michael Thomas>it's not a white person's fault, it's- it's all of our fault with the government behind <v Michael Thomas>all of it. <v Joe Piechowski>You can't blame the government for that though. <v Ruben Martinez>Wait a second. Joe Piechowski, where are you from? <v Joe Piechowski>I'm from- I'm a student at UCLA. We can't go around blaming the government for that. <v Joe Piechowski>What we need to do is we need to take individual responsibility. <v Joe Piechowski>It comes down to an individual on an individual basis. <v Joe Piechowski>I have to look at him and merit- and decide whether or not I feel that
<v Joe Piechowski>he upholds certain standards that I believe in. <v Joe Piechowski>And in that case, I'll respect him. If not, then he's not gonna get my respect. <v Joe Piechowski>The problem is- the problem has been, is that we get one group of people saying to <v Joe Piechowski>another group of people that we don't agre- we don't like you just because- <v Joe Piechowski>just because of the color of your skin. <v Ruben Martinez>Do you feel like you've been disrespected yourself? <v Joe Piechowski>Yes I have. <v Ruben Martinez>By people of other colors, other races? <v Joe Piechowski>Yes I have. Just- just this past week, I was on the UCLA campus and I was called a white <v Joe Piechowski>racist just because I was listening to a speech made by Congressman Bill Dannemeyer. <v Michael Thomas>Can I say something on that, um- in response to what he just said. <v Michael Thomas>Um you look at your government, you look how this government was setup. <v Michael Thomas>This government was not set up for black people to be anywhere in it. <v Michael Thomas>We were set up- it was set up where we were slaves. <v Michael Thomas>We weren't 'posed to be- we weren't here where <v Michael Thomas>we could say something, we can offer our opinions. <v Michael Thomas>We were sittin here- we were brought here as slaves, nothing more. <v Michael Thomas>And then you look at it now, 1992. Now, under the Constitution, we <v Michael Thomas>have a right. But we weren't- it wasn't setkup to where we were given that right.
<v Michael Thomas>So now you have a government that's saying, well, OK, how are we going to fit these <v Michael Thomas>people in, how are we going to, you know, work them into the system? <v Michael Thomas>How are we going to allow them to do these things without giving them them the control <v Michael Thomas>they need to really be prosperous? <v Michael Thomas>And if you look at that, you're looking at all this that's going around and you ask <v Michael Thomas>yourself, why is it happening? <v Michael Thomas>You look at- you look at the struggles of blacks, of Hispanics, of the Native Americans, <v Michael Thomas>and who is to blame? <v Ruben Martinez>Let- let's ask that question. <v Patt Morrison>Karla Diaz would like to speak to that. <v Karla Diaz>I was just saying, when he was talking about individual-ality, I mean, <v Karla Diaz>I think that we all have to take a stand, you know, not categorizing people, <v Karla Diaz>you know, black- the black- the black people or the white people, you know, like we <v Karla Diaz>cat-categorize it, you know, individuality. <v Karla Diaz>And um I think it's not a racial, you know, black, <v Karla Diaz>a racial, black thing anymore. <v Karla Diaz>OK. It's Hispanic. It's uh Korean. <v Karla Diaz>OK. And I think that we all agree that we have to make a change in this. <v Patt Morrison>How do you get to know 6 million people individually, though? <v Karla Diaz>Well, I mean, it's not like I'm saying like, OK, it's indiv- individual.
<v Karla Diaz>It's like you all have to worry, you know, about yourself. <v Karla Diaz>You know what I'm saying? It's like you have to- we have to work together, but um feed <v Karla Diaz>our individual needs. You know what I'm saying? <v Ruben Martinez>Let me ask a question of all of you. <v Ruben Martinez>Are the- the images of racial violence, you know, all these images that we see constantly <v Ruben Martinez>of black on white, brown on white or Asian crime, you know, all these hate crimes <v Ruben Martinez>that we're talking about, are they replicated also in high school and on college <v Ruben Martinez>campuses? Do we see that among youth as well? <v Ruben Martinez>Do we see that? <v Patt Morrison>Sarah Chee, I think uh from Orange County, a UCLA student. <v Sarah Chee>Yes, I am. Um I had- I wanted to get back to a point that this gentleman made, [clears <v Sarah Chee>throat] excuse me, from UCLA, also about how he felt kind of victimized <v Sarah Chee>on campus. I mean, I guess that's maybe a direct result of um maybe not a direct result, <v Sarah Chee>but a more blatant result of what has happened. <v Sarah Chee>And- and I don't mean to um again victimize you again, but <v Sarah Chee>the point is, you know um, people of color have been feeling victimized for all of their <v Sarah Chee>lives. And yet when- when the white, you know, white Caucasian people are finally feeling
<v Sarah Chee>that racism directed back toward them, they're- they're standing up and saying, we've <v Sarah Chee>been victimized. The point is, you know, racism is about an, you know, trying to- <v Sarah Chee>individual accountability is about trying to understand people around you and not just <v Sarah Chee>concentrating on your own suffering and your own victimization. <v Sarah Chee>Try to understand. And accountability is not just about individuals, it's about the <v Sarah Chee>government. Because the people in the government are the people who are racist, and they <v Sarah Chee>have the power to- to implement systems, implement programs that will <v Sarah Chee>directly affect people and that will directly affect the people that they are racist- the <v Sarah Chee>rac- the racist attitudes are against. <v Hugh Hewitt>Rubin, John Hong has a comment. <v John Hong>I agree with her. Uh but we shouldn't totally, you know, deply- uh apply <v John Hong>on the government to, you know, fix everything. <v John Hong>Government has something to do with it, but it all come back to us. <v John Hong>And, you know, the- all the looting and all the riots, you <v John Hong>know, it's lack of communication. Nobody talks. <v Patt Morrison>Thomas Hong. <v Thomas Hong>Yeah, I'm from UCLA and um I- our parents own the shop in, you know, Manchester
<v Thomas Hong>and Broadway, so it was one of the first stores to get, you know, burned down and looted. <v Thomas Hong>And what this gentleman said that, of course, the government has some something, some <v Thomas Hong>sort of a role in this, but you're talking about personal individual, you're talking <v Thomas Hong>about what the media has always portrayed, you know, the looters as hoodlums, people who <v Thomas Hong>have no morals whatsoever. But my my rage, you know, this show is about rage, my rage <v Thomas Hong>isn't, you know, toward that- those looters, towards the people who are, you know, the <v Thomas Hong>victims of this community. It's towards accountability which is lacking in our <v Thomas Hong>government. Our government has accountability to citizens. <v Thomas Hong>If the citizens are desperate enough to actually go out there and start looting, start <v Thomas Hong>burning, then whose fault is that? <v Ruben Martinez>OK. I sense there's a lot of anger, a lot of tension here. <v Ruben Martinez>People are angry at what? You're talking about accountability among elected officials, <v Ruben Martinez>perhaps, police, who else? Who are people angry at? <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>I basically think it- we need to get off the race issue because the media has- <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>has said so much, like blacks and whites and Hispanics, we need to get over all <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>the different races. It's more of social and economic problems.
<v Annalisa Lajeunesse>It's not just the race. <v Speaker>I have to dis- the- the total economic and social problems in America <v Speaker>is because of race. It's not because of anything else. <v Speaker>It's because of the race of the people who are socially and economically depressed. <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>I know. But we also- we have to stop blaming other people. <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>We have to stop blaming the government for things, because if you notice, <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>we- all we want is, I mean, even our culture or our- if <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>you want to start getting into, oh, like minorities or whatever, we have to <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>stop getting over...never mind. <v Speaker>Who controls the social programs though? <v Ruben Martinez>OK, let me ask- let me ask- let me- let me- let me frame the question here. <v Ruben Martinez>Everybody sitting together here, they use the term multicultural to talk about Los <v Ruben Martinez>Angeles, right? Well, we have a little multicultural group here. <v Ruben Martinez>Everybody's getting along more or less. Right? <v Ruben Martinez>But obviously, things, when we go back out on the street, it's not like that anymore. <v Ruben Martinez>Why does it break down like that? Where is the anger coming from? <v Michael Thomas>Years of oppression. You have years of being bound, kept back, and then you go, <v Michael Thomas>it's not a racial thing. It's not a racial thing. But it really is a racial thing.
<v Michael Thomas>I mean, if you can't get a job or you've been trying to get a job, in some ways the <v Michael Thomas>system is set up to keep you back each step you take. <v Michael Thomas>But if you take three steps forward-. <v Ruben Martinez>Okay, let's- let's get some other- let's get- <v Hugh Hewitt>Rodney Prince over here, Ruben. <v Rodney Prince>The government has actively participated in passive racism for hundreds and hundreds of <v Rodney Prince>years. It's a conspiratory silencing and it goes on and we- we've- all this time, <v Rodney Prince>we've perpetuated it and we've let it go on and it's- it's erupted. <v Rodney Prince>And this is what this is all about. It is about race. <v Hugh Hewitt>Back row. <v Ruben Martinez>Back in the back row. William Pedranti, where are you from, William? <v William Pedranti>Uh I'm a student at USC. Uh I would disagree with that. <v William Pedranti>I don't doubt that for hundreds of years that there has- or in the past there's been <v William Pedranti>racism of all boundaries going black, white, Korean, Asian, Chinese, all over the world. <v William Pedranti>And I don't- I don't doubt it exists, but I think that if we keep looking back at what <v William Pedranti>happened and- and- <v Ruben Martinez>So what are you feeling right now with all these voices that you're hearing, what is your <v Ruben Martinez>response, emotional response to it? Do you feel like you're being cornered here? <v William Pedranti>Well, yeah, I do. I think that when a lot of people immediately assume- they say racism, <v William Pedranti>that we've been held oppressed, I think they look at the majority of the people in this <v William Pedranti>country, ethnicities are like mine, Caucasian, and they immediately assume that we're
<v William Pedranti>being oppressed. And if there's true racism going on, if there's whites and there's this <v William Pedranti>conspiracy of true racism going on, in essence, whites, if- if we- if <v William Pedranti>we're- if all whites or a majority of conspiracy controlling government are white <v William Pedranti>supremacists, then they would be against blacks, Koreans, Chinese, Jewish, I mean, it <v William Pedranti>just goes down the line. How come there's so many successful Jewish? <v William Pedranti>How come the Koreans can start their own stores and turn out to be really successful? <v William Pedranti>How come- how come- hold on. <v Ruben Martinez>Okay. Okay. Okay. Wait a second. Wait a second. Wait a second. <v Hugh Hewitt>Right behind you, Ruben. <v Ruben Martinez>Peter Kim, standing right here. <v Peter Kim>Okay, I'd like to comment on that. The government has suppressed the minorities. <v Peter Kim>Okay. They have made us stay where we are, our lower class. <v Peter Kim>I mean, we're poor. I mean, we can't move up the ladder. <v Peter Kim>Maybe some of us can, but most of us can't. <v Peter Kim>We're suppressed in neighborhoods that are low economy, you know, they haven't let us <v Peter Kim>move up the metropolitan ladder. <v Peter Kim>So that's how- that's how I see it. <v Patt Morrison>I've heard a lot about blaming government. But one of the things that adults are saying <v Patt Morrison>this week is what about ourselves? Where do we step in and have a responsibility? <v Ruben Martinez>Jason Serber. <v Hugh Hewitt>Sperber. <v Ruben Martinez>Sperber. <v Jason Sperber>Um what we have to remember is, I mean look, we're talking about blaming
<v Jason Sperber>government or blaming this group or blaming that group. <v Jason Sperber>We've been scapegoating some group for so long that it's just normal <v Jason Sperber>to us now. So when one group says, oh, don't blame us or don't <v Jason Sperber>blame this or don't blame that, we have to remember, OK, what are we going to do then? <v Jason Sperber>We have to move past the scapegoating mentality, this us versus them thing. <v Jason Sperber>And okay, if it's not gonna be a black versus white thing or <v Jason Sperber>a brown versus white thing, well, or a minority versus <v Jason Sperber>government thing, we have to move past this us versus them mentality and move into a we. <v Ruben Martinez>How do we do that, though? Javier Munoz from Hollenbeck junior high school? <v Ruben Martinez>We were talking yesterday at the school about how you felt about how the media was <v Ruben Martinez>portraying people and how people looked at brown faces and black faces on the TV and how <v Ruben Martinez>do you feel about that? What do people see when they see your face? <v Ruben Martinez>How do you feel about that? <v Javier Munoz>Oh, what people do is they stereotype everything. <v Javier Munoz>They start categorizing everything. <v Javier Munoz>They think uh because there- there is black skin <v Javier Munoz>color, white, light skin color, all kind of skin color, and you see it and you say,
<v Javier Munoz>well, this person's kind of black, so this- they- they fit into this stereotype, <v Javier Munoz>and this person's kind of brown, they fit into this stereotype. <v Javier Munoz>But you have to stop that because everyone is like an <v Javier Munoz>individual. And it's hard to see millions of people as <v Javier Munoz>individuals. But what you have to do is keep an open mind and <v Javier Munoz>whoever you meet, keep it- keep an open mind and look- see them <v Javier Munoz>as they are not the whole entire group. <v Hugh Hewitt>Time to move on to our second segment. We're going to show a piece of tape right now that <v Hugh Hewitt>looks directly at some of the lawlessness that ran rampant in Los Angeles two weeks ago, <v Hugh Hewitt>and we're going to comment on that after we roll this tape. <v Hugh Hewitt>Let's- let's hit this. <v Voice>The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is now in full mobilization. <v Chris Blatchford>We have a traffic jam of looters, actually a traffic jam of looters making their
<v Chris Blatchford>way out of this Fedco, really quite an unbelievable sight. <v Chris Blatchford>Four or five minutes ago, people started breaking through the glass windows, breaking <v Chris Blatchford>through the glass door. Now you can see people- look at- you can see one guy rolling out <v Chris Blatchford>a whole couch, just helping themselves. <v Hugh Hewitt>The looting that went on was an emblem of general lawlessness that ran rampant in the <v Hugh Hewitt>city for 40 to 78 hours. It was uh under the cry originally of no <v Hugh Hewitt>justice, no peace. Troy Buckner, you are wearing a t-shirt. <v Hugh Hewitt>No justice, no peace, no future. What's that mean? <v Troy Buckner>That means if you don't give us justice, we won't give you peace. <v Troy Buckner>Therefore, there won't be no future. <v Hugh Hewitt>What is justice? <v Troy Buckner>Justice is to be treated equally with respect, like most people deserve to be treated. <v Hugh Hewitt>And who's going to make the decision about what justice is Tawana, are you gonna live by <v Hugh Hewitt>the decisions of the courts? <v Tawana Caldwell>Um well, I just feel that I hope the courts make a ri- a justified decision on the topics <v Tawana Caldwell>and the things that have been going on, because without that justice in the government, <v Tawana Caldwell>we are not gonna have no peace on the streets. <v Hugh Hewitt>Is anyone here willing to defend the jury in the Rodney King case?
<v Hugh Hewitt>As an exercise of justice? Or is this generation just going to stand back and say that <v Hugh Hewitt>jury system didn't work for us? Joe. <v Joe Piechowski>I'll justify the jury. The fact of the matter is, is that the most of the people in Los <v Joe Piechowski>Angeles and around the nation have only seen 81 seconds of videotape. <v Hugh Hewitt>Okay, you said, of course you will. What's that mean? <v Hugh Hewitt>What's of course you will mean? <v Troy Buckner>What's of course you will? What's of course you will is of course you will, look at you. <v Troy Buckner>You will never go through what Rodney King went through. <v Troy Buckner>But I bet you you sympathize for Reginald Daring- Garing. <v Tawana Caldwell>And he will never experience what the children experience, of the quote unquote thugs who <v Tawana Caldwell>um did the looting. He'll never experience what those children, what those adults <v Tawana Caldwell>or anybody feel who went through the looting, who live in the environment and just who <v Tawana Caldwell>take part in- in what's going on. You'll never understand how they feel. <v Hugh Hewitt>And does that mean- to be- to have just verdicts, the jury in that case has <v Hugh Hewitt>to be black Americans? <v Tawana Caldwell>The um- Rodney King, Rodney King got beat. And then you have this man, Denny, he got <v Tawana Caldwell>beat. Rodney King, they- oh it's nothing, they um clown about that all day. <v Tawana Caldwell>You know, show the tape and clown the clown.
<v Tawana Caldwell>But soon as um this man Denny get beat, it's a whole different story. <v Tawana Caldwell>They have to um take it to al- take it to the court, take it to the judge. <v Tawana Caldwell>It's already known that they will be prosecute- prosecuted and all that stuff. <v Tawana Caldwell>But a child could get- a black- a um African-American child could get killed <v Tawana Caldwell>and, you know, it's no biggie. <v Hugh Hewitt>Let me ask any of you. Wait one second. Wait one second. <v Hugh Hewitt>Does anyone- <v Patt Morrison>You have to say that Joe would- Joe would point out that 100 years ago it was the Poles <v Patt Morrison>who were getting the crap beaten out of them by the Russians. <v Patt Morrison>Is this all cyclical? Does everybody's turn come? <v Patt Morrison>Is that what this is about? <v Hugh Hewitt>Hedyeh. <v Hedyeh Melamed>I just wanna say no one has a right to be beaten. <v Hedyeh Melamed>No matter if they're African-American, Latino, whatever, no one has the right to be <v Hedyeh Melamed>beaten. And the message that it's signaling out to people is saying that police <v Hedyeh Melamed>have the authority to beat someone. They- they- it's just send out- [another student <v Hedyeh Melamed>speaks]. <v Hugh Hewitt>To beat minor- Okay. Let me ask this question. <v Hugh Hewitt>Forget the Rodney King ver- verdict. Forget- forget that verdict for a minute and the <v Hugh Hewitt>King uh police trial. <v Hugh Hewitt>Ask yourself and I want to know, does anyone respect the law generally in this audience? <v Hugh Hewitt>[all begin speaking] Tristen. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Of course I'm gonna respect the law. You know, we're taught as- as Americans to look up
<v Tristen Sotomayor>to these people. And when you see them on television beating a man senseless, almost <v Tristen Sotomayor>killing him, then what- what- what are young children, younger than us, supposed to <v Tristen Sotomayor>think? <v Hugh Hewitt>What about the looting? Did that evidence a general non-respect for the law? <v Hugh Hewitt>Thomas Hong. <v Thomas Hong>Let me sm- um, we're talking about just one specific case here, but when we're- when I'm <v Thomas Hong>talking about no justice in our community, I'm talking about the lack of education in <v Thomas Hong>south central L.A. I'm talking about lack of housing, that's a social services. <v Thomas Hong>I'm not just talking about one's case here. <v Thomas Hong>You know, when we're going out there and we're rallying, we're protesting, we're <v Thomas Hong>protesting about all injustice in our community. <v Thomas Hong>That includes everything. That's why a lot of the looters, maybe they not- might not know <v Thomas Hong>what the Rodney King case was all about, but they sure know what was happening in their <v Thomas Hong>community. <v Hugh Hewitt>Ruben, you- you did a class this week where the general consensus on the police was <v Hugh Hewitt>what? <v Ruben Martinez>Negative. Very negative. In East Los Angeles and ?inaudible? <v Ruben Martinez>junior high school, Karla Diaz and Javier Munoz, Carla was sitting right there in front <v Ruben Martinez>of you, Hugh. Uh what is the view of the community about the police in East L.A.? <v Karla Diaz>Well, I mean, like um this gentleman said,
<v Karla Diaz>um you don't know- I- like they were saying, if you trust the police, right. <v Karla Diaz>You don't know, like if you see a policeman, if- if he's going to help you or <v Karla Diaz>if he's gonna, you know, treat you bad, or say something bad, or he's gonna beat you, you <v Karla Diaz>know? <v Hugh Hewitt>Do we need the police, Karla? <v Karla Diaz>Um well, right now, I'm not sure. <v Hugh Hewitt>Does anyone think we need the police? <v Hector Salazar>We need police to a certain extent, but we do not need police to the extent that we have <v Hector Salazar>them. We have more cops in our community and more crime in our community <v Hector Salazar>than any place else in any community in the city. <v Hector Salazar>How can you have more cops and more crime in the same community? <v Hector Salazar>They have to be corrupt. They have to be in cahoots with the criminal themselves. <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>Because- because everything- if a policeman does anything, they get prosecuted <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>or you're taking the rights away from the police, and so therefore, when all this- the <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>looting went on, they had to back out, because if they did anything, people there would <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>[audience erupts] be suing- <v Hugh Hewitt>Wait one second. Wait one second, Sara Chee. <v Sarah Chee>OK. When- when you have the rioting going on in the streets of L.A. <v Sarah Chee>and a- a police chief that waits until the rioting is out of control to send their police
<v Sarah Chee>in there, of course, they're going to be scared out of their wits. <v Sarah Chee>You know, what do you expect? You know, yeah. So let- let's talk about, you know, what- <v Sarah Chee>what was it- what was the role of police? <v Sarah Chee>You know what it was Daryl Gates doing at a fundraising dinner until for about half an <v Sarah Chee>hour after the rioting started- <v Hugh Hewitt>OK. Wait a second. Let's ask this then. <v Hugh Hewitt>We don't respect the jury verdict. We don't respect the police in this audience. <v Hugh Hewitt>Does anyone respect anything? How bout political leaders? <v Hugh Hewitt>Any political leaders this week that you respect? <v Speaker>No. Not even our black leaders. <v Speaker>They- they're not really taking a stand and they're not really helping our community. <v Joe Piechowski>Joe, you went to a Dannemeyer rally, is that who you respect? <v Joe Piechowski>Yes, I respect Congressman Dannemeyer. He has principles that he believes in and he <v Joe Piechowski>upholds those prince- <v Michael Thomas>What principles are those? <v Hugh Hewitt>Well, Michael, let me ask you, who do you respect? <v Hugh Hewitt>Mayor Bradley? <v Michael Thomas>No, I don't respect Mayor Bradley. <v Hugh Hewitt>Does anyone respect the mayor in this crowd? You're all Los Angelinos. <v Audience>[speaking together] <v Troy Buckner>I don't respect Uncle Tom Bradley because he's a black man. <v Troy Buckner>I don't respect him because he's a black man and he doesn't come out and he doesn't speak <v Troy Buckner>for our people. <v Hugh Hewitt>How about Councilman Mike Hernandez, who impressed the three of- the three hosts here.
<v Speaker>No, but I must say, Congresswoman Maxine Waters has been the voice for the black <v Speaker>community and she is trying her best, her very best. <v Hugh Hewitt>OK. Let me ask you this. We don't have any political leaders. <v Hugh Hewitt>You don't respect the police, you don't respect the jury verdict, and you're suspicious <v Hugh Hewitt>of the law. Where are you, this crowd, going to get your moral values from? <v Hugh Hewitt>Where are you going to develop that? What is- what makes you tick? <v Hugh Hewitt>Tawana? <v Tawana Caldwell>Um I don't know what make us tick now because everybody is lost. <v Tawana Caldwell>Well, our generation is lost. I feel- <v Hugh Hewitt>What about church? <v Tawana Caldwell>I'm not sure about church because I don't- I don't go to church, but I feel that the only <v Tawana Caldwell>thing that will bring us to better is education. <v Hugh Hewitt>What about church? And then we'll get to education. <v Michael Thomas>We- we do need- we need the morals. We need the ethics. <v Michael Thomas>We need some way to govern ourselves. We need some rule of- some role of conduct to guide <v Michael Thomas>us. That's what's keeping me where I am. That's why I wasn't out looting, because I had a <v Michael Thomas>sense of control within me. <v Hugh Hewitt>And where did that come from? <v Michael Thomas>It came from my mother raising me within the church. <v Hugh Hewitt>The family. Rosario. <v Rosario Gutierrez>Well I- for me, the church is very important. I have a very strong faith in it. <v Rosario Gutierrez>But I think that there's- just- we've been talking about individualism.
<v Rosario Gutierrez>I think there's a basic inconsistency with democracy in the institutions that are <v Rosario Gutierrez>alive today in this country. It's not- it's incompatible. <v Rosario Gutierrez>And we talk about religion and we talk about education and it seems like there's no <v Rosario Gutierrez>foundation for it. There's so much [sighs], like, <v Rosario Gutierrez>I want to get to the education topic because that's- I think that's really important, <v Rosario Gutierrez>that's where we have to start from. <v Hugh Hewitt>Speak to it. <v Rosario Gutierrez>You talk about not having any more leaders. We talk about not having anything. <v Rosario Gutierrez>Well, to me it seems like it's time for a new beginning and it's a good <v Rosario Gutierrez>time to begin because we have nothing. <v Rosario Gutierrez>Education is so important and we talk about justice, well justice is having <v Rosario Gutierrez>equal education, equal opportunity. There is nothing. <v Rosario Gutierrez>I go to school and I- I- I- when I work with the children that I work <v Rosario Gutierrez>with, I see that there's 42 kids in the class. <v Rosario Gutierrez>A teacher can't handle all of them. There's just basic inconsistencies. <v Rosario Gutierrez>Even with the um with the level of education, how much this child is given versus <v Rosario Gutierrez>how much child- <v Hugh Hewitt>Let me ask the mom in the audience. Is she gonna get a good education?
<v Hugh Hewitt>Teri, is Isis gonna get what she needs? <v Teri Martin>Well I don't pl- not in a public school, not in a public school, and I-. <v Hugh Hewitt>In Los Angeles? <v Teri Martin>Not in Los Angeles or California as a whole. <v Teri Martin>I plan on sending her to a private school where she'll be raised in a church environment. <v John Hong>See I think ?inaudible? in the future, if it- if the education is the same as right now, <v John Hong>because in school I've been called almost every name that could be called for <v John Hong>a Korean: gook, chink, ?nip?. <v John Hong>I mean, for godsake, if it's same thing as in the future, she's- <v John Hong>she's gonna, you know, be difficult and she's gonna grow up to be the same in the time <v John Hong>will be harder. <v Hugh Hewitt>?inaudible? it that values education in school. <v Hugh Hewitt>Let me go back to Peter Kim. <v Peter Kim>I am a Catholic and uh the- the church has given me morals and standards to live <v Peter Kim>by. And I wasn't out there looting. And I know many of you guys haven't been out there <v Peter Kim>looting. <v Ruben Martinez>And Peter, you don't feel that in the schools that you've gotten that? <v Peter Kim>Well in the- of course, I feel the schools have helped me out a lot. <v Peter Kim>And I think what we have to do is put more funds into the school. <v Peter Kim>And why is it that we're limited to just- just Spanish and French and Latin in high <v Peter Kim>school? Why can't it be, what, Korean, Japanese?
<v Peter Kim>Why do we have to wait till college to experience these different language and cultures? <v Hugh Hewitt>William Pedranti, you're- you're nodding your head no. <v William Pedranti>Uh a couple of things he says. I think the education and family values ?inaudible? <v William Pedranti>some other people tie on together. Uh first off, I think that the government has failed <v William Pedranti>us when it comes to education. In the state, I think that public education has completely <v William Pedranti>failed us and that I think it will continue to be because I honestly believe that- that <v William Pedranti>the government, when it was set up, that it wasn't set up to be a perfect government and <v William Pedranti>provide all these services. And I don't think the way the government's set up, it can <v William Pedranti>provide a quality education. And I think one of the reasons, excuse me, one more second, <v William Pedranti>one of reasons why it can't is because- because well, there's so much money is wasted. <v William Pedranti>And two, is I think where the family values ties in is if you look at a lot of these <v William Pedranti>schools, why the dropouts are so rates, why there's over 60000 cases of violent <v William Pedranti>crimes on campuses, why there's drugs, why the New York City's ki- kids in these- in <v William Pedranti>these slum schools have to go through metal detectors to get in their classes, does it- <v William Pedranti>it isn't the education's fault. <v William Pedranti>It's the family's fault where they can't control their kids, and their- <v Hugh Hewitt>Thomas Hong. Thomas Hong. <v Thomas Hong>Let me response to this.
<v Thomas Hong>From the inception of this nation, the educational system was favoring white Americans, <v Thomas Hong>right? When you're talking about the lack of education, you are saying- it <v Thomas Hong>starts with a family, right? You're talking about a history of oppression and how can <v Thomas Hong>they, you know, completely wiped that away and say, okay, let's start over. <v Thomas Hong>Let's move to Beverly Hills, where they have a- a better education system. <v Thomas Hong>They cannot. They're forced to stay there, where there's no money in there, no money <v Thomas Hong>funded by the government. And whose fault is that? <v Hugh Hewitt>Tristen. Go to- go back to Tristen here. <v Tristen Sotomayor>?inaudible? the difference between 1965 and 1992, when you look at both of these <v Tristen Sotomayor>situations, the same problems keep coming up. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Does anyone wonder why they keep coming up? Because the social conditions, they keep <v Tristen Sotomayor>repeating themselves. This country loves the quick solutions. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Death penalty, throw them in jail. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Don't rehabilitate, don't reeducate. When we keep going down that road, these things <v Tristen Sotomayor>will keep coming up. <v Hugh Hewitt>Michael, you- you wanted to say something? <v Michael Thomas>Yes. Bush just left Los Angeles, right, and he's talking about the Band-Aids that he's <v Michael Thomas>going to put over Los Angeles. The school board's talking about cutting back 14 days out <v Michael Thomas>of the school year so they can cut the budget even more.
<v Hugh Hewitt>But you get to go longer, they said. So it'll all wash out. <v Hugh Hewitt>Do you buy that? <v Michael Thomas>But it doesn't- it doesn't work like that. You can't- <v Hugh Hewitt>I know that. <v Tawana Caldwell>?inaudible? that's too much time for somebody to go on a vacation for two months, and then try to <v Tawana Caldwell>go back to school and graduate. <v Hugh Hewitt>Hector. One sec. <v Hector Salazar>We were given a lack of values education in school. <v Hector Salazar>We were taught that Christopher Columbus discovered America. <v Hector Salazar>And if he discovered America, then I can discover your car in the parking lot, OK. <v Hector Salazar>He didn-. We didn't do anything- they didn't do anything in the streets that Christopher <v Hector Salazar>Columbus didn't do. So how can you steal from a thief? <v Hugh Hewitt>Eva. <v Eva Wilczynski>I believe it- it all has to do with your families. <v Eva Wilczynski>I mean, the looting. Parents going out there with their kids, I mean, showing them. <v Eva Wilczynski>You saw on the news little kids walking out with shopping carts [everyone erupts]. <v Teri Martin>Most of these people who broke into these stores were grabbing clothes and diapers and <v Teri Martin>food for their kids. They were not stealing just because they can steal- <v Hugh Hewitt>Do believe that? Do you really believe that? Teri, I know some people were doing that. <v Hugh Hewitt>But do you really believe it? <v Teri Martin>Yes because a store- a store up the street from my house was looted and I watched these <v Teri Martin>people walk out with clothes and food for their- their kids.
<v Hugh Hewitt>Joe. <v Michael Thomas>You gotta look at the economic factor that plays a big role in this. <v Michael Thomas>You looking to all these people that live in these low income family, these housing <v Michael Thomas>projects. And then you get, there's a opportunity where you can have certain things. <v Michael Thomas>And all this rioting is going on and all the looting is taking place. <v Michael Thomas>And if you need it, you're going to go get it. <v Hugh Hewitt>So in other words- so in other words- some ki- hold on a second. Okay. <v Troy Buckner>Even if you don't need it, this- this capitalist system is constantly showing what you <v Troy Buckner>have to have, what you've got to have. You got to have these 150 dollar tennis shoes. <v Troy Buckner>You've got to have this VCR. You've got to have this nice TV. <v Troy Buckner>But, you know, on the income that you make, you cannot get this stuff. <v Troy Buckner>All of a sudden, one day it's free. <v Troy Buckner>So you go and get it. <v Hugh Hewitt>You go for it. Annalisa do you have a comment on that. <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>Um I really think that the- I mean, he is right on everything like that. <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>When you have a society that says you have to have this, you have to have that, when you <v Annalisa Lajeunesse>have the opportunity, you would go and get it. <v Hugh Hewitt>Javier, do you just go and get it? Are there no values out there that say it's not yours <v Hugh Hewitt>so don't take it? <v Javier Munoz>Well, at times, morals were lost, but then they were gained back. <v Javier Munoz>Some- a lot of people returned stuff that they stole <v Javier Munoz>or stole. But um- what I was gonna say.
<v Javier Munoz>What- this came at a time where there was a lot of unemployment <v Javier Munoz>and like he said, you know, if you don't have something <v Javier Munoz>and you really need it, and they were stealing clothes and food. <v Javier Munoz>They were stealing our food and they didn't have anything in their homes to eat. <v Hugh Hewitt>Wait, Sarah's got the mic, I'll get to you Michael. <v Sarah Chee>Okay, I just want to talk about the role of the media in terms of the looting. <v Sarah Chee>When you're- when you have a couple of million people standing in front of a TV watching, <v Sarah Chee>watching these man say, well, I'm standing in front of this store, there's no police <v Sarah Chee>stopping this looting. Of course, the average American is going to say, hey, this is <v Sarah Chee>free. Why don't I go and get it, too? And it wasn't just the blacks and just Latinos, as <v Sarah Chee>the news portrayed it. There was- I know there was some frat people out there, too, <v Sarah Chee>white, frat people coming from the rich schools like S.C., going and stealing radios <v Sarah Chee>and TVs. OK. So it wasn't- it wasn't just the blacks and the Latinos. <v Hugh Hewitt>Okay, Michael. <v Michael Thomas>I'm not trying to justify the looting, but you have to understand the reason behind <v Michael Thomas>the looting. I mean, I'm not saying it's all right and it's not all right.
<v Michael Thomas>But for me to say that, I have to at least understand why these people are out doing this <v Michael Thomas>thing. And unless you can understand why people react a certain way, you really have no <v Michael Thomas>comment and no real opinion that can stand. <v Hugh Hewitt>Jason, where is the next- where's this generation going to develop the values? <v Hugh Hewitt>I mean, is it there? Do these people reflect the values of this generation in Los <v Hugh Hewitt>Angeles? <v Jason Sperber>OK. Look, how many hours a week do you spend in school and how many hours <v Jason Sperber>a week do you spend with your family? Look at the difference- I- a gentleman over here <v Jason Sperber>said that public education is- is failing us. <v Jason Sperber>Well, private education isn't necessarily all that better. <v Jason Sperber>I mean, public education is failing us because we don't have the resources. <v Jason Sperber>We don't have the books. We don't have the teachers. <v Hugh Hewitt>Go ahead. Tawana, you're shaking your head. <v Tawana Caldwell>Um, about the education. I feel okay, now, we're- you know, we need to go back to the <v Tawana Caldwell>baby. So we had this baby here. She's not gonna have no park to go to. <v Tawana Caldwell>She's not gonna have a nursery or, you know, something that's not so expensive. <v Tawana Caldwell>You go on to white areas or suburban areas and it's a lot of parks, it's a lot of
<v Tawana Caldwell>schools. The schools have all kind of programs for they elementaries, for they babies. <v Tawana Caldwell>They have a way advantage over our children in South Central or in Los Angeles, period. <v Tawana Caldwell>And I need- <v Hugh Hewitt>Any answer to that, Peter Kim. <v Peter Kim>Um the thing is, okay, you look at the looters and you see what are they doing, okay. <v Peter Kim>You see them taking the things that people have been working, like the Korean families <v Peter Kim>when they own liquor stores, they've been working for years. <v Peter Kim>They come to America with a few- few dollars, maybe, you know, and they worked for years <v Peter Kim>and years to build that foundation, to have a nice- to- to live that American dream. <v Hugh Hewitt>But does anyone here respect the work that the Korean-American merchants put in? <v Hugh Hewitt>John, well. <v John Hong>My father came here as for a dream, okay. <v John Hong>The dream that says a lower class can make money and be in the upper class or in the <v John Hong>middle class. When we came here, we got totally opposite. <v John Hong>There were people racist against us. They were calling us ?nip?, chinks, and the- even <v John Hong>Mexicans, even black and white. <v John Hong>They were all racist. We have all races inside us. <v John Hong>Okay. <v Hugh Hewitt>Michael. <v Michael Thomas>I respect Koreans as people. I respect their way of coming over and working as
<v Michael Thomas>a team, coming over, working together. <v Michael Thomas>But when you sit here, and you have all these businesses and you don't see not one <v Michael Thomas>black person or one Hispanic in there working. <v Michael Thomas>There's a problem. You come in the black commu- and I'm not saying what you're doing is <v Michael Thomas>wrong. But I'm saying understand the rage. <v Michael Thomas>Understand why there's discomfort in the black community. <v Hugh Hewitt>Thomas. <v Patt Morrison>Thomas Hong's family has a store on Manchester. <v Thomas Hong>Yeah, I understand the rage that's going on in the neighbor- because I work there. <v Thomas Hong>You know, on my part time, you know, for myself, I work there. <v Thomas Hong>I see the rage. I see the poverty firsthand. <v Thomas Hong>You know, I'm not just talking about- about images on TV. I know what you're talking <v Thomas Hong>about, my brother. But, you know, we have to understand, you know, there are things <v Thomas Hong>that, you know, make us go in there. We're not there because we love to be there. <v Thomas Hong>You know, of course, we would like to- our parents would like to be professional. <v Thomas Hong>Okay, it's the cheapest. We're all poor working class people. <v Hugh Hewitt>Okay, Hector. <v Thomas Hong>Don't think of us as the people with, you know, all the money, with all the political <v Thomas Hong>power, cause we have zip. <v Hugh Hewitt>Hector. <v Hector Salazar>If you wanna look for the underlying reason why so many Korean businesses were hit during <v Hector Salazar>the rebellion, and I call it a rebellion, it was a people's war, uh
<v Hector Salazar>I feel it is because basically the people of the community resent <v Hector Salazar>uh not controlling the economics of their community. <v Hector Salazar>That's the basic problem as well as they resent being under scrutiny immediately <v Hector Salazar>as a black or Latino person walking through the door, being followed up and down your <v Hector Salazar>market. You know, we resent that. <v Hector Salazar>And that's what exploded. <v Peter Kim>OK. <v Hugh Hewitt>Peter Kim. <v Peter Kim>OK. Throughout the years, when you look at the media and you see um a Korean store owner <v Peter Kim>get shot from a Hispanic or an African-American or whoever, right, they're conditioned. <v Peter Kim>They are conditioned to feel, you know, not hatred, but fear towards Hispanics <v Peter Kim>and the Africa- uh Afro-Americans. <v Peter Kim>So what are they supposed to do? <v Hugh Hewitt>Exit question [everyone talking]. Exit question. <v Hugh Hewitt>Exit question, before I go to the next segment, uh Rodney, real quick. <v Hugh Hewitt>Go ahead. <v Rodney Prince>That fear should be addressed to the- the system that allows that- that allows that to go <v Rodney Prince>on and not to the people that it-. <v Hugh Hewitt>OK. Exit question. Who here- <v Tawana Caldwell>-ever since we been here. Should we fear them? But they- we supposed to um look up to <v Tawana Caldwell>them. <v Hugh Hewitt>One second Sarah, we're gonna move-. <v Tawana Caldwell>They supposed to protect us. But they've been whooping on our people ever since we've
<v Tawana Caldwell>been here. So how should we feel? <v Hugh Hewitt>We're going to move to another segment. <v Hugh Hewitt>Does anyone here understand- does anyone here respect democratic capitalism <v Hugh Hewitt>as a way? Does anyone like the way that this country runs? <v Hugh Hewitt>Eastern Europe's in ashes. It's worse than Los Angeles. <v Patt Morrison>All right, Sarah, quickly. <v Sarah Chee>I just want to refer back, because I think this is something that needs to be cleaned up. <v Sarah Chee>OK. I'm not saying that Korean Americans, I don't think that they're justified in their <v Sarah Chee>racism. Because I admit it, there are a lot that are racist. <v Sarah Chee>OK. I'm not saying that all Korean Americans are racist, because they're not. <v Sarah Chee>You can't generalize. And I also want you to understand why they're racist. <v Sarah Chee>You know, they come over here from from Korea. They don't speak that much English. <v Sarah Chee>They watch media and look at how media portrays black and Latinos. <v Sarah Chee>You know, they're all- they're all robbers on TV. <v Sarah Chee>They're all rapists. [audience responds] OK, I understand. <v Sarah Chee>I understand. But also, I'm not justifying- <v Hugh Hewitt>Very quickly, Troy. We're gonna go to Patt now. <v Troy Buckner>Democratic- democratic capitalism, you've got to understand, capitalism needs somebody to <v Troy Buckner>exploit. If there's no one to exploit, there will be no capitalism. <v Troy Buckner>There will be no rich. And those that are getting exploited are people of color. <v Hugh Hewitt>Very quickly, anyone here believe that the media did a good job? <v Michael Thomas>The- the media did a terrible job. They did a terrible job. <v Hugh Hewitt>On that note, Patt, you're the media. Welcome to the Los Angeles Times.
<v Patt Morrison>Thank you very much. We've felt and heard some of the rage and anger that are separating <v Patt Morrison>us, and that's pretty hard to take. What's an even harder task is cobbling together the <v Patt Morrison>future. We're looking at a tape that's coming up in a moment about the morning after, and <v Patt Morrison>then we're going to talk about the longer range future. <v Patt Morrison>Could we see that tape, please? <v Man>You got to start somewhere. You know how you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. <v Man>Well, we saw everyone almost, you know, say come on down and help us out. <v Man>We were watching on TV this morning. <v Man>My wife said let's go, so we piled the kids in the car and here we are. <v Clara Lake>I was very upset with the verdict as I think everyone was. <v Clara Lake>And I wanted to do something. And this seemed to be the thing to do. <v Patt Morrison>All of you were probably 8 or 10 years old when the Olympics came to Los Angeles. <v Patt Morrison>You've sort of grown up under the umbrella of multiculturalism in Los Angeles. <v Patt Morrison>But Rosario, you're from Pico Union. How did it make you feel to turn on television and <v Patt Morrison>see white people who had never been to your part of town before, showing up the morning <v Patt Morrison>after to pitch in?
<v Rosario Gutierrez>I have very strong feelings about that. And I know the day, <v Rosario Gutierrez>maybe the day after the riot on Thursday, I got a call from my brother and my sister. <v Rosario Gutierrez>They were very upset. They said Rosario it's so dark outside because of the fires <v Rosario Gutierrez>and, you know, all that kind of stuff. <v Rosario Gutierrez>And I felt really bad for them because I was at Occidental College, Eagle Rock, <v Rosario Gutierrez>in safe room and my family was at home in the Pico Union area. <v Rosario Gutierrez>And people were stealing. People were burning <v Rosario Gutierrez>places down, and there needs to be rebuilding, that's for sure, but it <v Rosario Gutierrez>can't just be rebuilding. You can't just say I'm going to go out there and clean up <v Rosario Gutierrez>when that's all it's gonna be. How do- you c- that doesn't mean anything if nothing <v Rosario Gutierrez>comes of it. It doesn't mean anything. You can't say I'm going to make myself feel better <v Rosario Gutierrez>by going up and cleaning up and helping out on this. <v Rosario Gutierrez>That's a step. But there's gotta be more to it than that. <v Patt Morrison>Okay, even if this was sincere, how long is it going to last? <v Teri Martin>I think personally, I think it was a nice gesture, but it was too little, too late.
<v Teri Martin>They shoulda did this back in the 1960s when the Watts riots happened. <v Teri Martin>They shoulda came then, cleaned up then, helped the political system work then. <v Teri Martin>It was too long. <v Patt Morrison>Michael. <v Michael Thomas>I can- them coming out, if they continue to come out, they continue to give support, I <v Michael Thomas>can deal with it. But if you're gonna to come out and- and I respect that, that's- that's <v Michael Thomas>a good gesture. But if you're not going to come out and continue to help- continue with <v Michael Thomas>the struggle, then what's the use? <v Michael Thomas>What's the use to me putting a Band-Aid on your wound if I'm not going to nurture it till <v Michael Thomas>it's healing, until it's completely healed, until you're out and doing <v Michael Thomas>what you should be doing? <v Patt Morrison>Do any of you have faith that the government's going to come through with the money it's <v Patt Morrison>promised? Hector. <v Hector Salazar>No, not really, and I think one of the most important points that needs to <v Hector Salazar>be made, the- there can be no healing until there is actual justice. <v Hector Salazar>You don't stick a 12 inch dagger in my gut and then tell me to heal. <v Hector Salazar>You know, growing up in uh Los Angeles, there's nothing multi-cultural about it. <v Hector Salazar>This country is- is a white supremist, capitalist, uh rich people's dictatorship. <v Hector Salazar>That's all it is. [laughing and applause] <v Patt Morrison>Is this cliches or is this legitimate?
<v Michael Thomas>It's legitimate? But you could look around and see it. <v Tawana Caldwell>The only thing the government is doing is they going through all of these procedures to <v Tawana Caldwell>win votes. All these people are coming out doing things so they could win votes when <v Tawana Caldwell>it's time for election. <v Tawana Caldwell>The President- the- everybody, the new people, the people you never heard about everybody <v Tawana Caldwell>is coming out to get votes. And uh Gates, he could care less because he <v Tawana Caldwell>fixin to leave anyway, and so he- hey, let em burn the city, let the new chief take over, <v Tawana Caldwell>let em, you know, let em start from scratch. <v Patt Morrison>Let's ask about- William al- <v William Pedranti>I wanted to say uh as we look to the future for- for answers and to- and to look for help <v William Pedranti>into the situation, I- all I can stress is that in my opinions we shouldn't look for the <v William Pedranti>government. I think they- they failed us periodically over time. <v William Pedranti>I think that George Bush doesn't have the answer. I don't think Governor Wilson has the <v William Pedranti>answer. I don't think Mayor Tom Bradley answer. <v William Pedranti>I don't think all these politicians who come out and say they support it to try to gain <v William Pedranti>more votes. I don't think Ira Reiner by all of a sudden saying, oh, let's convict <v William Pedranti>Laurence Powell because he's got a tough primary coming up June 2nd, his butt's on the <v William Pedranti>line, that if he doesn't come out strong, and the thing is, it's all political. <v William Pedranti>And all I want to stress is Thomas Jefferson said something that I think, that one of the
<v William Pedranti>founding fathers of this nation is important, it says- he says if we can prevent <v William Pedranti>government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of <v William Pedranti>them, they must become happy. And I think what he was trying to say is the government <v William Pedranti>cannot and will not, and as hard as they will try, will not come up with a solution. <v William Pedranti>I think the solution lies with the people because this is not we the government, this is <v William Pedranti>we the people. We must look- <v Patt Morrison>[everyone talking over one another] Alright William, you mentioned- William- no, William. You <v Patt Morrison>mentioned the name- excuse me, Sarah. <v William Pedranti>Without Thomas Jefferson, none of us would be here. <v Patt Morrison>You mentioned the name Thomas Jefferson. <v Patt Morrison>Please, just a minute. <v Patt Morrison>You mentioned Thomas Jefferson, you said the master. <v Patt Morrison>All right. You've got an election coming up in three weeks. <v Patt Morrison>Do you vote? Do you not vote? What are you gonna do? <v Patt Morrison>Try- Troy why did you react like that to what he said? <v Troy Buckner>Well, about Thomas Jefferson, you also got to remember another thing he wrote or in the <v Troy Buckner>Declaration of Independence um or in the Constitution, actually, is that we have <v Troy Buckner>the right to rebel against an oppressive government. <v Troy Buckner>And that's what we did. And as for the election, the election, people need to, <v Troy Buckner>you know, you got the less of two evils. <v Troy Buckner>It really not going to matter. We're gonna get killed either way, whoever comes in.
<v Troy Buckner>We need to write in or we need to use a third party. <v Troy Buckner>We need to make a point. <v Teri Martin>I have, you know, I- I work for a political consultant, so I'm really into this, you <v Teri Martin>know, campaign this year. And people in the community really do not understand that <v Teri Martin>they must go out and vote, if for anything Proposition F, because they do not <v Teri Martin>understand that Daryl Gates- <v Patt Morrison>That's the police reform initiative. <v Teri Martin>-will not be out without Proposition F. <v Teri Martin>He can keep on backing it up and, you know, saying I'm not going to resign till next year <v Teri Martin>if he wants to without proposition F. And one more thing I have to say, one policy I do <v Teri Martin>agree with is the policy not to rebuild pawnshops and liquor stores in South <v Teri Martin>Central. I definitely agree with that. <v Thomas Hong>Wait. Okay, wait. Can I comment on that proposition F? <v Thomas Hong>OK. A lot of people are satisfied with that, and that's where they stop. <v Thomas Hong>They say if I register to vote and I actually go out there and vote, everything will be <v Thomas Hong>fine in this community. But you got to remember the civil rights movement in the 60s. <v Thomas Hong>They didn't just stay home and say, okay, let's do- let's have a representative do all <v Thomas Hong>the work. They went out there and actually pressured a politician, pressured the city <v Thomas Hong>government, and the federal, and the um-
<v Hugh Hewitt>And it was also nonviolent, Thomas. <v Thomas Hong>Exactly, it was not. We have to use other avenues here. <v Thomas Hong>We can't just go out and vote. ?inaudible? <v Ruben Martinez>And the other thing about the civil rights movement in the 60s, is that it was mostly a <v Ruben Martinez>black and white thing. But in this room today, we're black, Asian, Latino, Anglo, <v Ruben Martinez>all cultures. Is anybody here hopeful at all? <v Ruben Martinez>I hear an incredible amount of pessimism and cynicism. <v Ruben Martinez>Is anybody hopeful about really rebuilding the city or is everybody gonna move out of <v Ruben Martinez>L.A.? <v Tristen Sotomayor>Yes I'm hopeful. <v Patt Morrison>Rosario. <v Ruben Martinez>Tristen is hopeful. <v Tristen Sotomayor>This is how we're gonna to do it. We have to start leadership at the top. <v Tristen Sotomayor>I mean, it has to come from the top. <v Ruben Martinez>But there is no leadership at the top. <v Ruben Martinez>You guys agree there's no leadership. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Well we- [everyone talking] I know. But- but- but we have to empower ourselves. <v Tristen Sotomayor>Why do you think we have elections? If no one is voting, if no one's voting the right man <v Tristen Sotomayor>in, how are we gonna get represented? <v Tristen Sotomayor>Vote for a democrat ?inaudible? <v Patt Morrison>The right- the right man or the right woman. The point is, somebody is going to win this <v Patt Morrison>election. Rosario. <v Rosario Gutierrez>Well, I'm really tired of people treating this episode as- <v Rosario Gutierrez>as just one single episode. It's been going on for such a long time. <v Rosario Gutierrez>It's- it's- this is kind of like the- what broke the camel's back.
<v Rosario Gutierrez>But this rage, this- this rage has been going on for a long time. <v Rosario Gutierrez>This isn't one episode. The killing, the dying, the looting, everything <v Rosario Gutierrez>has been going on for a long time. <v Rosario Gutierrez>And until we realize that and realize that this isn't the beginning or the end, <v Rosario Gutierrez>then we're not gonna get anywhere. And it's not just this episode, it's been going on for <v Rosario Gutierrez>a long time. People need to realize that. <v Patt Morrison>On that point- [audience speaking] on that- on that point, when we talk about generation <v Patt Morrison>to generation transmission of racism and everybody thinks I can change, I <v Patt Morrison>can be different. We've heard of the kind of names that are being called just among your <v Patt Morrison>own generation. How do you break out of that pattern and make it not happen for <v Patt Morrison>yourselves? Michael. <v Michael Thomas>Well what you're ask for is a solution. It has to start- <v Patt Morrison>You're right, we're asking for a solution. <v Michael Thomas>-it has to start from the government, but not neglecting that it has to- <v Patt Morrison>But you don't trust the government. <v Michael Thomas>But see, I'm not neglecting that it has to start with us. <v Michael Thomas>We- we do have to resume responsibility for our actions. <v Michael Thomas>But I'm saying i- many factors play a part in this. <v Michael Thomas>I'm not saying it's the government by itself and boom, that's it. <v Michael Thomas>I'm saying many things have to come together in order for us just to begin
<v Michael Thomas>the process of healing. I'm not saying-. <v Ruben Martinez>John Hong, Pat. <v John Hong>See, I agree with him, but looting and rioting is not the way to begin or end. <v Audience member>Well it got us somewhere [everyone talking]. <v Audience member>Bush wouldnta came down here if we didn't um gain something. We did gain something. <v Hector Salazar>This government is worthless. This system is worthless. <v Hector Salazar>The answer is not in the government. The answer is in the power of the people. <v Hector Salazar>The only solution is revolution, organized revolution. <v Hugh Hewitt>Hedyeh. <v Hedyeh Melamed>I just wanna say education. <v Hugh Hewitt>Hedyeh is saying education. <v Hedyeh Melamed>I just think- I think it really, really starts of something we really need to deal with. <v Hedyeh Melamed>It really starts um in high school, and if we don't stop the ignorance and the racial <v Hedyeh Melamed>ignorance in high school, in my school about a year ago, we had a hate letter given out <v Hedyeh Melamed>to 600 Hispanic students um saying these racial slurs, a whole letter given out to <v Hedyeh Melamed>every parent. And it was like a shock to everyone because we didn't know if it was one <v Hedyeh Melamed>white person or if it was a group of white people. And I think the ignorance starts off <v Hedyeh Melamed>in high school and these are the people who are going to be running our government in 10 <v Hedyeh Melamed>years. [everyone talking].
<v Patt Morrison>I have a question- I have a question for all of you. At the beginning of this, Rodney <v Patt Morrison>King said, can we all get along? <v Patt Morrison>At the end of it, President Bush said, we cannot let our diversity destroy us. <v Patt Morrison>What, if anything, do we have to give up in order to be able to say yes to Rodney King's <v Patt Morrison>question, to be able to get along? <v Michael Thomas>The rich have to give up wanting to stay rich. <v Michael Thomas>You got to give the people down in the ghetto a chance to come up. <v Michael Thomas>You can't continue to suppress and suppress and suppress a people because you're afraid <v Michael Thomas>that they may become financially able and stable and replace you. <v Patt Morrison>Jason Spencer. <v Jason Sperber>OK, look, this- what we're doing right now is what has to continue. <v Jason Sperber>We're talking. There's all different people sitting here right now talking. <v Jason Sperber>But how long is this gonna continue? We can't just leave this room right now and forget <v Jason Sperber>about what happened or not talk to each other. <v Jason Sperber>I mean, people are talking about education. People are talking about communication. <v Jason Sperber>Well, we have to put our money where our mouths are and start doing something and <v Jason Sperber>?inaudible?. <v Ruben Martinez>How- how do you rebuild the trust? How do you rebuild the trust in the mixed communities <v Ruben Martinez>of- of Pico Union and ?inaudible? where blacks and Latinos and Asians are together, how
<v Ruben Martinez>do you rebuild that trust? <v Speaker>What trust was there in the first place? <v Sarah Chee>We have to be- we have to rebuild the trust within ourselves. I mean, we are- we are the <v Sarah Chee>youth right now. We are the ones who are going to have to live with the decisions that we <v Sarah Chee>make because we have the power to change it. <v Sarah Chee>You know, when it's 20 years down the line, you know, the people- other- the people that <v Sarah Chee>are in power right now, they're not gonna care. But what- we're going to have to live <v Sarah Chee>with what happens because our children are gonna have to deal with it. <v Sarah Chee>And I think that starts with education. Yeah, education is important. <v Sarah Chee>But where it is, how can we change the education system? <v Sarah Chee>Through the political system. And how do we change the political system? <v Sarah Chee>By people joining together and putting pressure on the system, not just by yourself, not <v Sarah Chee>just by your own ethnicity, but together, all people of color, everyone who cares. <v Ruben Martinez>Joe. <v Joe Piechowski>I just want to comment on something I think that he said before. <v Joe Piechowski>He said that we need to- we need to rebuild by having the rich give up their- <v Joe Piechowski>give up their property and thing. <v Michael Thomas>I say- I said getting richer. I'm saying allow us to <v Michael Thomas>with- with our ability to make it. <v Michael Thomas>It's like every time you take a step, you're put back two steps. <v Michael Thomas>OK. I'm going to college now. But look what I'm say- I'm going to college now and I'm
<v Michael Thomas>trying to further my education. But what good does that really do me? <v Michael Thomas>And this is what people are saying. People are looking at this and they're going what <v Michael Thomas>good does it do me if as soon as I get up there, they're going to knock me back down <v Michael Thomas>because of my color, that's what they're saying. [everyone talking] <v Ruben Martinez>Rodney Prince. Rodney. [everyone still talking] Rodney. <v Rodney Prince>Exactly. I believe it starts with the personal healing and then it moves on to community <v Rodney Prince>healing where we find a connecteniffs- connectiveness amongst us. <v Rodney Prince>And from that point, if we continue to try and form organizations and alliances that are <v Rodney Prince>going to compel this intransigent government to make changes, we're never going anywhere. <v Rodney Prince>We realize from this eruption that we have the power. <v Rodney Prince>Now all we need is the consciousness to move on from this [continues talking as Morrison starts]. <v Patt Morrison>Some of you told us that you date interracially, and I'm wondering if this is part of the <v Patt Morrison>way to solve this, if you go from the ground up and coming to know people that intimately <v Patt Morrison>and that closely. I think Jason is- <v Jason Sperber>Okay look, we're talking about crossing boundaries, crossing lines. <v Jason Sperber>I'm mixed. I'm half white, half Asian. <v Jason Sperber>OK. And it wasn't too long ago, it was 1960, it was <v Jason Sperber>as late as 1966, 1967, that interracial marriage
<v Jason Sperber>was outlawed in lots of states in this country. <v Jason Sperber>Now, look, I mean, if we're going to start doing anything, we have to start getting <v Jason Sperber>along. I mean, I wouldn't be here if somebody hadn't gone up <v Jason Sperber>and tried to change something, you know? <v Jason Sperber>And I just- interracial dating, getting to know people of different cultures, you <v Jason Sperber>know, we have to start communicating. <v Patt Morrison>I have to ask you the question that everyone in Los Angeles has been asking himself and <v Patt Morrison>herself for these last few weeks. <v Patt Morrison>Are you going to get out? And do you think there's any hope here for your kids in <v Patt Morrison>staying? <v Thomas Hong>Let me -can I have a quick comment on- just like what you're talking about, if- even if <v Thomas Hong>you are educated and you go out there and if they reject you by the color of your skin, <v Thomas Hong>that's something that you cannot, you know, personally go- you go over cause that's just <v Thomas Hong>the forces that we have on us- <v Hugh Hewitt>Okay, but Thomas, are you going to stay or are you leaving? Patt's question. <v Thomas Hong>I'm- I cannot leave that situation. <v Thomas Hong>Our parents cannot suddenly close up shop and move to Beverly Hills and open up a new <v Thomas Hong>store there. You have to understand some forces that keep us there. <v Thomas Hong>And then once we're there, they're gonna keep us fighting.
<v Patt Morrison>Rosario, if you have the choice. <v Rosario Gutierrez>There is no way that I'm leaving. <v Rosario Gutierrez>I- I believe that I'm in college for a reason. <v Rosario Gutierrez>That reason is to be a teacher, to be a teacher in an inner city <v Rosario Gutierrez>school, to do my part, to do my part in what I believe should happen <v Rosario Gutierrez>and to make the changes- to help make the changes that I believe need to happen <v Rosario Gutierrez>individually and then hopefully the community cause I think there's a big problem with <v Rosario Gutierrez>community. I think um individualism is is stressed so much that we forget about <v Rosario Gutierrez>other people. <v Hugh Hewitt>Tawana. <v Patt Morrison>Tawana, you have a child. <v Tawana Caldwell>Yeah, I have a um- a 7 month old. <v Tawana Caldwell>And I feel that the best thing for her, for me to do for her is to get <v Tawana Caldwell>organized, number one, cause with n- with no organization, we're not gonna move <v Tawana Caldwell>nowhere, no matter how many people or how hard you try. <v Tawana Caldwell>And the second thing is um, you know, we do need to come together more as <v Tawana Caldwell>the different races and all of that, but it have to take place within your own race. <v Tawana Caldwell>You have to become- know the people of your own race because they feudin too. <v Tawana Caldwell>It's just as worse with the same race as it is with another race.
<v Teri Martin>You know, I have- I have to to stay in my community. <v Teri Martin>Seeing what happened after the Watts riots in Central Ave, you go, you drive up Central <v Teri Martin>Ave right now, you see all the places that just left the community, and that's what hurt <v Teri Martin>us. That's why there are businesses that are not black owned in that community. <v Teri Martin>If those black businesses woulda came back and rebuilt, we would have- we would have a <v Teri Martin>black community. We would have economic power. <v Teri Martin>So we as blacks need to get back into our community and build our businesses up. <v Patt Morrison>Is anybody planning to leave? <v Patt Morrison>Have you talked to people who are planning to leave? <v John Hong>I mean, what do you think they're leaving for? <v John Hong>They're scared. <v Hugh Hewitt>Are you? Are you scared? Are you gonna go? ?inaudible? <v John Hong>Well my father's store is on Western and we were up there defending the store. <v John Hong>And we're not gonna leave. We're not going to drop everything that we worked for for <v John Hong>years and years. <v Hugh Hewitt>Good question. Is anyone gonna leave? Patt asked it. <v Michael Thomas>But some people are leaving, but what's the use of leaving a struggle and you haven't <v Michael Thomas>even got the victory out of it. I mean, here you- I mean, people are talking about <v Michael Thomas>leaving, but yet the problem still remains and you're gonna still be faced with it no <v Michael Thomas>matter where you go. There's still gonna be racism, there's still gonna be classism and
<v Michael Thomas>these factors will still remain. You cannot leave a problem and expect to go somewhere <v Michael Thomas>else and not still deal with it. <v Patt Morrison>That's going to have to be the last word for now. <v Patt Morrison>But you have been privileged to hear nothing less than voices from the future of our <v Patt Morrison>city. We thank them for joining us tonight. <v Patt Morrison>We thank you, for Ruben, for Hugh, I'm Patt Morrison for Life and Times [Tracy Chapman's <v Patt Morrison>"Across the Lines" begins]. <v Narrator>This program was made possible by a grant from the James Irvine Foundation, <v Narrator>which is dedicated to the development of an informed California citizenry. <v Narrator>Special support for this program was provided by the Los Angeles County Department of <v Narrator>Health Services and the U.S. <v Narrator>Centers for Disease Control.
Life & Times Special Edition
Episode Number
No. 168
Young L.A.: Rage & Responsibility
Producing Organization
KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
Contributing Organization
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia (Athens, Georgia)
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Episode Description
This episode features a discussion between a group of youths from all over Los Angeles in which they discuss violence, race, class, justice, and the future following the Los Angeles Riots. The episode begins with a recap of the events of the past year in Los Angeles leading up to the riots, first the Rodney King verdict, then Reginald Denny, then the burning of the entire city. They discuss if there is any way to justify the beatings of Rodney King and Reginald Denny, the double standards of the police, and racial violence and the system of racism. They also talk about where their anger comes from and the effect media portrayals of minorities have on actual people. The next section features footage of the lawlessness and looting that took place, and the group comments on it afterwards, discussing respect for the law and perception of the police. The hosts ask the group where their generation will learn morals if they have no respect for law enforcement or political leaders, suggesting church and education. The young people call for improvements in education and debate how to improve it, and afterwards they share their thoughts on the looting and the causes of it. Another section shows footage of the cleanup the day after the looting, and they discuss how to rebuild the community and the upcoming election.
Series Description
"As an institution, KCET responded to the Los Angeles riots in four distinct ways: "KCET's MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour team offered in-depth coverage of breaking news throughout the civil unrest. "Within 24 hours of the outbreak of violence, 'Life & Times,' the station's nightly public affairs program, was on the air with the first of a series of studio discussions. Within 72 hours, the program became a forum for a 90-minute Town Hall meeting bringing together a diverse group of 40 community leaders for a brutally frank analysis of problems, trying to chart early steps to help and the nightmare burning through our communities and heal the damage done. "'Life & Times' sustained its involvement with these issues after the violence subsided. In a follow-up Special Report 'Exit King Boulevard.' This program allowed residents of the most affected communities to voice their thoughts, feelings and reactions to the devastation'and show viewers first-hand the personal depth of the problem. Six months later, 'Return to King Boulevard' [revisited] the community to show what progress had been made and the many problems that remain unanswered. "Finally, in the days following the riots, KCET offered psychological services by phone in a service called 'A Chance to Talk.' For 10 days, 200 volunteer graduate students from UCLA's School of Social Welfare gathered at KCET phone banks to provide person-to-person counseling in English, Spanish, and Korean. Counseling messages were broadcast hourly on KCET with phone numbers to call from morning until well into the evening."-- 1992 Peabody Awards entry form.
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Producing Organization: KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.)
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Chicago: “Life & Times Special Edition; No. 168; Young L.A.: Rage & Responsibility,” 1992, The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 28, 2023,
MLA: “Life & Times Special Edition; No. 168; Young L.A.: Rage & Responsibility.” 1992. The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Life & Times Special Edition; No. 168; Young L.A.: Rage & Responsibility. Boston, MA: The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection at the University of Georgia, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from